The driver took us a short way along this narrow peninsula that is Placencia, through the heavy, expertly carved, gigantic wooden gates and into this eye-popping lush tropical paradise. We had arrived at Chabil Mar.
In the nineteen seventies, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico was just becoming accessible to the foreign traveler. Roads from Mexico City led to the Spanish colonial city of Merida, once known as Mayab, a major center of the Maya. Some even ventured as far as the magnificent stretch of beach that would later become the thriving tourist destination of Cancun.